Nearly half of the Dutch population occasionally experience sensitive teeth. It’s not too bad when it happens every now and again, but there are people who are almost constantly suffering from sensitive teeth. It has such a big impact on them that it actually impacts their joy of eating and drinking due to simply experiencing too much pain. Do you recognize yourself in this? Then we recommend you get your sensitive teeth treated.
What exactly are sensitive teeth
Sensitive teeth have a strong response to cold, hot, sweet and sour food or drinks. The pain can be best described as a short but sharp shooting pain which goes deep into the root of the tooth. Is the pain not short? Then it’s probably not a sensitive tooth but instead a possible pinched nerve. If this is the case then a different type of treatment will be necessary.
The cause of sensitive teeth
The cause of sensitive teeth is exposed dentine. Dentine is normally covered by enamel or gums. However due to several causes, one of which is getting older, the dentine can get exposed around the root surface of the tooth.
Dentine mainly consists out of connective tissue. There are small canals inside of the dentine, also known as tubules. These canals are all going toward the nerve. The pain that a person with sensitive teeth experiences is caused by the pressure difference in these canals. A cold stimulus will draw out the fluids in the canals. The nerve branches react to this by giving a painful shooting pain. A warm stimulus will cause the nerve branches to react too and will cause the same shooting pain.
The retraction of gums
The dentine is not normally exposed. As you get older, your gums start to retract. This will cause the dentine to be more visible and might cause your teeth to become more sensitive. This process of retraction can be sped when you don’t brush enough or when you brush vigorously or harsh . Another reason for having sensitive teeth is the loss of enamel which will consequently also cause the dentine to be exposed.
The treatment of sensitive teeth
When treating sensitive teeth there are things your dentist can do, but there are also things you can do. We are more than happy to inform you on what you can do at home to lessen your complaints. In the next paragraph we will go over what the dentist can do for you, what you can do at home and what other options you have to make your teeth less sensitive.
When you go to the dentist to have your sensitive teeth treated, the first thing the dentist will do is look at how the dentine became exposed, causing the sensitivity. The dentist will then give you advice on how to prevent further wear and tear. There are products which can be used to close the openings to the dentine canals, the dentist can apply these to the sensitive root surface.
Is the cause for your pain a high loss of tissue? Then the dentist will have to treat the teeth more intensively, for example by placing fillings or by performing a root canal procedure. However, most of the time it suffices to apply a special product which helps close the opening to the dentine canals. Especially when your pain is mild and is not causing too much distress.
How to care for sensitive teeth
As mentioned before, there are things that you can do when to care better for your sensitive teeth. We advise you to read the following tips:
- Take a critical look at your eating pattern. Try avoiding sour foods as much as possible as these foods cause erosion and will, indirectly, lead to sensitive teeth.
- After eating or drinking an acidic substance, drink (or rinse with) water or milk to balance the acid levels in your mouth.
- Wait with brushing your teeth for at least an hour after drinking or eating. Is this impossible for you in the morning? Then brush your teeth before breakfast.
- Use gentle strokes when brushing your teeth rather than harsh scrubbing.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.
More information? Feel free to contact us
Would you like more information on the cause of your sensitive teeth, the treatment or things you can do to lessen the sensitivity of your teeth? Then feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Would you like to make an appointment to have your sensitive teeth examined? Then fill out the appointment form on the website.